Did you even read the article?
"“Grabbing a handful of front brake at 70 mph on a lightweight sportbike on asphalt is one thing, but on loose gravel on a bike that weighs more than 500 pounds is scary,” Dudek admitted. “If the front started to lock, the bike would lose stability and I would slightly release the lever and then reapply pressure until I was in control, but it was a handful. With Off-road ABS on, the Adventure comes to a halt faster than I anticipated it would and without the messy locking and unlocking sensation found on older ABS systems. And the consistency was much better with ABS; I tried my hardest, but I just couldn’t beat the computer.”"
That is a test of Bosch's latest and greatest ABS system that only KTM uses so far, and the test is off road
. Versys has a very old ABS system, the bike has had the same Bosch ABS system since it came out in '07. The ABS unit in the Versys is pretty old tech, it only works in a straight line with the bike upright. Grab a handful of brake on an ABS Versys mid corner and you're going to go down. The ABS on the KTM is state of the art ABS technology, it works off road, mid corner, etc.
ABS vs non ABS in dry and wet, using a ZX-10R
In dry pavement I can clearly feel how the braking force decreases once the ABS kicks in. Although I do have lots of experience, tons of trackdays and I've been riding daily for the last 11 years, I know how to brake properly.
I got the ABS for the rain. One thing is to do threshold braking in the dry and other thing is to do it in the rain, specially when you're commuting among mindless zombies in their cages.
So yes, ABS is safer, I have no doubt about that, that is why I got a '14 Versys with ABS. But in the dry, in pavement, ABS is not the fastest way to stop, specially when it is combined with very poor technique:
So I did all I could do which was convulsively grab the brakes. ABS kicked in and the thing hitched to a stop right before I slammed into the guy.
Grab a handful of brake, with the front wheel unloaded, and the ABS will kick in right away. Little load on the front wheel = little traction = little braking = ABS kicking in too early. As there is little braking going on, there will be little weight transfer, which will not aid in traction, etc.
Combined with good technique, as in gradually braking to load the front wheel, it will prevent loss of control if you go over the traction limit.